The Story of the Christmas Truce

Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX7941

On Christmas Day, 1914, in the first year of World War I, German, British and French soldiers disobeyed their superiors and fraternized with "the enemy" along two-thirds of the Western Front. German troops held Christmas trees up out of the trenches with signs, "Merry Christmas." "You no shoot, we no shoot." Thousands of troops streamed across no-man's land strewn with rotting corpses. Soldiers embraced men they had been trying to kill a few short hours before. A shudder ran through the high command on either side. Here was disaster in the making: soldiers declaring their brotherhood with each other and refusing to fight.

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